Qualman discusses using social media marketing and adding value. Value to the consumer basically involves getting something out of the product or service that you individually value beyond the product itself. Apps are a great example of this. Qualman mentions the nike training app. People can download this by choice, and they are given a product/service that allows them to monitor track their fitness. This is a service that offers personal value. In turn, more people by the shoes, clothes, etc., Traditional one sided marketing is becoming less effective in today’s generation (think about yesterdays article). The day of advertisers speaking to you as to why you should by a product with little value as to WHY is not always the best approach.
Take a look at the top 11 nominees this year for the Webby Awards in Social Media Campaigns here. What value do these campaigns add to the people? What sets these apart from traditional advertising? Do you feel more inclined (in the cases where an actual product/service is part of the campaign) to purchase or use these companies products because of these campaigns? Why or why not?
Contrast these examples with this case example taken from http://mashable.com/2013/09/26/chicago-speech-spot-social-makeover/:
Posting pictures on Facebook and interacting with fans may sound like fun, but that’s not always the case.
When you’re running a business, it can be just one more job to do. It’s also a task with an uncertain return on the investment of your time and money. All this may make one yearn for the days when all you needed to market your business was to run a print ad somewhere.
Talk to Tanya Lotzof and you’ll sense the frustration. After a month under the tutelage of a social media marketing consultant, Lotzof says she feels like she has little to show for the time and money she spent promoting her business on Facebook. “I didn’t go to school for this,” Lotzof says. “This is not what I do. If I knew what I was doing, I would do it.”
Lotzof’s business is Chicago Speech Spot, which delivers pediatric speech therapy. When we first checked in with CSS in early August, the business had about 150 Facebook fans. At this writing, in late September, it has added only 20 or so. In addition, Lotzof says many of the fans don’t have kids and are therefore useless.
Lotzof (pictured) launched Chicago Speech Spot in June with co-founder Michelle Hersh. The two make up the company’s entire workforce. Chicago Speech Spot does house calls and works with the area’s many private schools to deliver its services. There’s room to grow, though. Lotzof think Facebook is the vehicle for that growth, but she’s not completely sure. She doesn’t have a huge ad budget and doesn’t know whether to try to turbocharge CSS’s Facebook presence with advertising or whether to allocate that spend on an email blast with an area community group.
“Our big thing right now is trying to get the name out,” Lotzof says. “We’re using Facebook to provide information to people who might need our services.”
So far that’s not going so well. The company’s Facebook Page has yielded few sales leads.
In keeping with other stories in our Social Makeover series, we hooked this small business up with a social media consultant from our Small Business Panel. In this case, the consultant is Sarah Pinho with VineSprout. Pinho began advising CSS in early August. We checked back in late September.
During her initial assessment, one of the first things Pinho noticed about CSS’s online presence is a lack of integration. When she first encountered CSS’s website it had no links to its Facebook Page or Twitter profile. As it turns out, Lotzof was already working on updating the company’s homepage. (A month later, the site had been overhauled. The Facebook link worked, but others for Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus did not.)
Pinho also thinks CSS should post more pictures, particularly of Lotzof and Hersh. “The main attraction is her,” Pinho said, referring to Lotzof. “[Potential customers] want to know who their children are learning from. She clearly loves kids, so let that be front and center.”
That’s a common suggestion, but CSS has an issue with photos: Many parents don’t want pics of their kids on Facebook.
CSS’s Page has gotten around that restriction by using lots of stock photos. Before Lotzof consulted with Pinho, posts had primarily been links to articles from publications and blogs likeParenting, runningguru.com and, yes, Mashable. Instead of blasting other people’s stories, though Pinho suggested more personal status updates. She offered a few examples:
- My child is most motivated to go to school when I put __________ in her lunchbox.
- What’s the biggest surprise your child has given you this year?
A look at CSS’ Timeline over the past month shows she hasn’t followed those suggestions. By and large she’s still mostly posting links to news stories related to children’s issues. Lotzof says that such posts didn’t work because “the majority of our followers are not really from our target audience. We have posted a few simple questions and no one has responded. I had to ask my friends to respond to encourage others, but it did not work.” Lotzof says she’ll try again.
Lotzof’s experience with Facebook advertising was similarly discouraging. She said she has bought a few ads that targeted 20-50 year-olds, which have netted around 2,000 views but didn’t bring in many new followers. She also tried to start a LinkedIn group, but couldn’t get any traction there, either.
Pinho empathizes with Lotzof’s plight. “I do think she could have gotten more fans,” she says. Going forward, she advocates more overlap between offline and online outreach. “It should be Facebook in conjunction with visits to schools,” she says. Another logical area for expansion is Pinterest, which offers a mom-friendly environment.
In the meantime, Lotzof is still finding social media marketing a baffling challenge. Says Lotzof: “We’re not getting the people that actually need our service to like our page.”
Image: Chicago Speech Spot
What things could she do differently to possibly make this business/social media model work more in her favor? Think of something of value (even something small) that she could do to drive more business through her social network.